Xiaomi 12 Launches in SA – Everything You Need to Know + Hands-On Impressions


Chinese smartphone and electronics company Xiaomi has announced today that the Xiaomi 12 smartphone is now available in South Africa.

A device from the company’s flagship series, the Xiaomi 12 delivers impressive advancements in Xiaomi’s AI algorithm, flagship processing power, and an all-around elevated experience.

Our Impressions:

Xiaomi South Africa was kind enough to let IT News Africa have hands-on a Xiaomi 12 device for a short time. There were our initial impressions:

  • The device has fantastic visuals. Really fantastic top-of-the-range stuff. The colour variety is vibrant on the AMOLED display and is a joy to look at. We kept trying different wallpapers to see how the colours would translate. Great stuff. Video streaming quality with a decent internet connection is also excellent.
  • It only has 2 micro-SIM slots, compared to other devices – such as the Tecno CAMON 17P which has 4, but it is a much smaller device and this could be due to space restrictions.
  • The haptics and sounds are incredibly satisfying, and surfing across apps and typing messages is very pleasant with the Xiaomi 12. The sound quality is just as advertised. Crisp, clear and oftentimes baffling for such a small device.
  • The battery life is very impressive. Without extensive use, the phone stays on for days and days. With wired charging, it maxes out in around 12 minutes.
  • Once again Xiaomi has managed to deliver a serious camera system. We could Zoom in on faces across the office and still preserve detail. The picture quality is excellent with the rear-mounted cameras. The selfie cam produces good images too, but it is the 50MP camera that is the star of the device. Great colour conversions too.




The brand specialises in its smartphone camera systems. The Xiaomi 12 is no slouch. It boasts a triple camera setup for versatile shooting, with the main focus on its 50MP main wide-angle camera, with 8K recording capabilities.

This is accompanied by a 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 5MP tele-macro camera, for filming life from different perspectives.

Xiaomi 12 also features the company’s advanced proprietary AI algorithms. These innovations make it easier than ever for users to record every moment the way they want to, even in low-light or when shooting moving subjects.

Xiaomi ProFocus is able to identify and tracks objects using AI, preventing blurring or out-of-focus shots of moving or veiled subjects.

The AI features also include eye and face autofocus capabilities. Ultra Night Video uses Xiaomi’s proprietary algorithms to record video even under extreme low-light conditions, meaning moody, atmospheric shots will be clearer on this Xiaomi device than in previous generations.

One-click AI Cinema offers numerous creative options for new video editing techniques, such as Parallel World, Freeze Frame Video, and Magic Zoom modes.

Processor and Storage

Xiaomi 12 has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor – Qualcomm’s advanced mobile platform. Built on a 4nm process, this processor also boosts GPU graphic rendering capabilities by 30% and energy efficiency by 25% when compared to the previous generation.

The flagship device also comes with UFS 3.1 loading and data transfer speeds, along with LPDDR5 RAM for memory speeds of up to 6,400Mbps.

For optimal product experience, Xiaomi 12 packs a high-performing cooling system, bolstered by a super-large vapour chamber and multiple layers of graphite to offer leadingcooling capabilities.


Xiaomi 12’s 6.28-inch display measures just 69.9mm in width and is accented by smooth curves. The device is smaller than other top-of-the-range smartphones, so it is a bit easier to use with a single hand.

The phone offers vivid viewing on an AMOLED Dot Display rated A+ by DisplayMate, and with TrueColour support. Xiaomi 12 delivers Xiaomi’s most colourful smartphone display to date, with more than 68 billion colours on a 6.28-inch full-HD+ display.

120Hz Adaptive Sync is also present, for an impressively high-definition, vibrant, and flicker-free display that conveys every detail.

For added peace of mind, Xiaomi says the display features scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, and supports Dolby Vision. Xiaomi 12 also supports HDR 10+.


Xiaomi 12 features speakers designed by the Harmon Kardon brand and is powered by Dolby Atmos, delivering spatial sound with rich detail, clarity, and realism across all your favourite entertainment.


A 4,500mAh battery is fitted into the phone’s compact body design, and 67W wired turbocharging for speedy power-up, 50W wireless charging, and 10W reverse charging are also all supported.

Xiaomi 12 leverages Xiaomi AdaptiveCharge, a smart charging algorithm that learns and adapts to charging habits, which prolongs battery life.

To optimise core user experience further, Xiaomi 12 incorporates MIUI 13, released globally earlier this year. The update includes faster storage, higher background process efficiency, smarter processing, and longer battery life. New features in the upgraded experience include Xiaomi’s proprietary Liquid Storage, Atomised Memory, Focused Algorithms, and Smart Balance.

Free YouTube Premium

Xiaomi 12 customers will receive up to three months of YouTube Premium for free, a move to give users access to the best ad-free and offline content, where available.

This includes a subscription to YouTube Music Premium where users can get unlimited, ad-free access to more than 80 million official songs, plus live performances, covers, and remixes.


  • Xiaomi 12 comes with 8GB+256GB in South Africa and is available for R17,999 online or from respective resellers.
  • All three devices are available in Gray and Blue.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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